Are you interested in dentures or dental implants, but don’t know which are right for you? Having a mouth full of beautiful white teeth can make a great first impression. However, if you’ve lost one or more teeth during your lifetime, then your smile can have the opposite effect both on the people you meet and on your own self-image. Many people who have lost teeth are extremely embarrassed and uncomfortable about smiling or showing their teeth, which can greatly impact social interactions and confidence. Other problems with missing teeth can include discomfort and trouble with speaking or eating. The bottom line is that missing teeth can negatively impact overall quality of life in a significant way—but there are effective teeth replacement solutions available.
Issues with Dentures
Dentures (removable false teeth) have been a go-to for replacing lost teeth for many years, and have been extremely helpful for many people with missing teeth, especially as they have become more modern and realistic. However, they’re far from a perfect solution, and dentures come with their own challenges. False teeth must be held in place with paste or adhesive wafers, which often involve an awkward application process that must be repeated over and over again each time the teeth are removed.
In addition to the difficulty of securing the dentures in the first place, the adhesives are not always reliable, causing the false teeth to slip and move around, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable when speaking and eating. Lower dentures are especially prone to this, and can cause gum irritation and sores over time. Finally, dentures require a great deal of maintenance and cleaning, and must be replaced when they wear out.
Dental Implants & Alternatives to Dentures
Today, dental implants are available as an alternative to traditional dentures. Implants are modern, non-removable tooth replacements that look and function like natural teeth. Implants begin with metal posts, which are secured to the jaw within the gum, and then covered by a natural-looking crown. Because they are anchored in place, implants are very strong and comfortable, with no slipping or moving around. Care is simple: patients need only brush, floss, and visit the dentist as normal. Implants are designed to be long-lasting, natural replacements for missing teeth, and many can last a lifetime.
Another major benefit to implants that sets them apart from removable dentures is how they preserve the bone. Implants help replace some of the root of the teeth, adding support to the jaw and helping to prevent gum and bone deterioration, which can lead to recession of the jawbone and even facial collapse. Implants are ideal replacements for missing teeth, and provide a solution that most closely mimics natural teeth and preserves facial structures.
Same-Day is a dental implant technique that uses only 4 implant posts per dental arch, yet can replace the teeth in full for beautiful, natural-looking teeth that are comfortable and functional. An ideal solution for many patients, the Same-Day procedure eliminates the most common inconvenience associated with dental implants (having to wait a period of several months before attaching the crowns) and allows patients to restore their entire smile in a single day. In addition, this technique can be used even on patients with severe bone loss, denture users, and people who are about to lose all their teeth. The technique uses the dense bone in the front part of the jaw, avoiding the nasal cavity and facial nerves, and most often avoiding the need for bone grafting.
There are several implant options for full mouth replacement, including the Same-Day technique described above, fixed crown and bridge, and implant bar or implant retained methods.
Fixed crown and bridge replacement uses six or more implants, with crowns and bridges secured to these implants using cement or precision screws. This method and the Same-Day result in replacement that is most like natural teeth.
Implant bar and implant retained techniques are removable denture options that use implants to secure the dentures to the gums, but allow for removal and cleaning.
Multiple Tooth Replacement
Several missing teeth are traditionally replaced by using a bridge. However, this requires grinding down neighboring teeth to support the bridge.
Multiple tooth replacement implants use implant techniques to anchor the bridge without damaging surrounding teeth. Multiple implants to replace the roots of the teeth help support the natural-looking bridge replacement.
Single Tooth Replacement
Video Testimonial of patient who underwent the Same-Day dental implants procedure at the office of Drs. Gallardo.
Instead of using a bridge to fix a single missing tooth (which damages surrounding teeth), a single tooth implant can be placed in the jaw to replace the root of the lost tooth and provide support. The tooth can then be fully replaced with a ceramic crown, which looks and feels like a normal tooth.
Implant vs. Dentures Pros and Cons
Many people are skeptical of choosing an alternative to dentures, until they know the facts. For most patients, the pros of implants are far greater than those of dentures.
Benefits of implants include:
- Secure bond to mouth, with no slipping or moving around
- Low maintenance
- Long-lasting—often a permanent solution
- Look and function like natural teeth
- Preserve the bone
- Help to prevent gum and bone deterioration, jawbone recession, and facial collapse
Cons of implants:
- Higher initial cost than dentures, however; our practice helps patients with financing options to make paying for implants an easy and smooth process.
The pros of dentures are much more limited:
- Lower cost (though will need to be replaced throughout life)
The cons of dentures:
- Insecure bond causes slippage and movement
- Problems with speaking
- Problems with eating
- Discomfort, irritation, and sores
- Regular cleaning required
- Eventual replacement required
- Do not preserve the bone and can further jawbone recession and facial collapse
Cost of Dentures vs. Implants
Dr. John P. Gallardo featured in The Wellness Hour discussing the importance of healthy gums and the misconception of dental implants.
Many patients’ biggest concern with choosing implants over dentures is the cost. While it is true that implants do cost more initially than dentures, the benefits of implants typically make the cost of the procedure worth it. In addition, dentures can cost more over time, as they must be replaced when they wear out. Financing is available to qualified patients, and this can be discussed during a free consultation with Dr. Gallardo in Miami.
Why Choose Drs. Gallardo?
At Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry in Miami, we offer patients a wide range of services performed by highly trained and compassionate dentists, with an emphasis on less invasive procedures and saving your smile. Dr. Gallardo offers same-day implant services, so patients can come into the office in the morning and have a beautiful, functional smile in the afternoon. Dr. Gallardo is an acclaimed specialist with in-depth knowledge of dental implants, often lecturing on the topics to industry peers.
At our office, patients can look forward to a safe surgical experience with non-stressful anesthesia and the latest in dental technology. For more information and to schedule your free consultation, contact our office today.